Wizards University 2013

By Drew S.

On November 14, 2013, I had the opportunity to go to Wizards University.  Wizards U was a retailer only event put on by my Magic the Gathering supplier, Magazine Exchange.  Wizards U was a day filled with fun, spending time with other store owners, and learning how to strengthen my relationship with Wizards of the Coast to improve the store.  There were about 120 people with store owners as far away as Rhode Island and Florida.

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The entire day was filled with opportunities to learn new things to improve the store.  For those curious, I’ve list the schedule and some of my thoughts on how I can use the ideas presented to better Anime Kat and the community:

8:00 to 9:00 AM: Breakfast

It’s always nice to start of with a nice bacon and eggs breakfast…especially if it’s provide for me.

9:00: Introduction from Roger of Magazine Exchange Inc.

It was nice to put a face to a name in my email’s inbox.

9:15 to 10:00: “Community Building & Engaging the New Customer” with open discussion: Mark Price of Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast did a study: How do new players prefer to learn Magic – read the instructions, one on one instruction, or using the How To of Duels of the Planeswalkers.  What they found was 2/3 of new players preferred learning using Duels of the Planeswalkers.  Players preferred using Duels of the Planeswalkers because it engaged the players with the back store of the game, it scaled difficulty with the new players abilities, and each match revealed new rules.  I want to see about getting Duels of the Planeswalkers in the store for new players.

The discussion also lead to community outreach.  One of the ways is to get involved with the Boy Scouts of America.  The Boy Scouts offer a merit badge in Game Design.  I’m already a Scoutmaster for a local Boy Scout troop.  I’m now also a registered merit badge counselor for the Game Design merit badge.  If you or anyone you know would be interested in earning this merit badge and live near Port Angeles, WA, please contact me at Anime Kat, and I will gladly help you.

10:00 to 10:15: Ultra-PRO Presentation

Ultra-Pro told ups about some of the new product that will be coming out soon.  There are two product that I’m on the look out for.  The first is a new premier sleeve.  The sleeves are said to out perform Dragon Shield.  I was allowed to play with a deck sleeved in them.  The welded seams appear strong than in a normal Ultra-Pro.  I’m a mash shuffler.  I separate a deck in half and then push the stacks back together.  The new sleeves made this method very, very smooth with no catching of corners.  When the deck was placed on the table, none of the cards slid.

1459298_586686498070284_372160199_nThe second product is a new deck box.  The boxes are leather-like and have your choice of Planeswalker or different mana symbols.  A magnet keeps the deck box closed with a soft inner liner.  Unlike the ones we already have, the new ones holds up to 200 sleeved cards.   My favorite part is the adjustable divider that allows the dual compartments different sized decks and room for oversized cards.

10:15 to 10:30: Break

10:30 to 11:15: “Beyond Advanced – Running Premier Level Play”: Mark Price of Wizards of the Coast

Anime Kat is not an Advance level store yet.  However, we are very close to meeting the criteria.  Once we do, we can run Premier events.

11:15 to 11:45 Araca Group & Red Monkey presentations

The Araca Group is who makes the licensed Magic t-shirts.  The interesting thing I learned was that although Walmart carries Magic shirts, they are not the same ones I can order.  Red Monkey makes lifestyle products.  The make beautiful, hand made in Portland, wallets, leather goods, messenger bags, and other items.  Even if we don’t have any of these items in the store at the moment, I will gladly show you some pictures and place a special order.

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12:00 to 1:00: Lunch

1:00 to 1:15 Store Improvement Scholarship Program: Roger of Magazine Exchange Inc.

Magazine Exchange is offering 5 – $1000 store improvement scholarships.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise if I’m awarded the scholarship, so I’m not telling exactly what I’m planning.

1:15 to 2:15: “Wizards Play Network Tools & Resources” with open discussion: Mark Price & Stephanie Speece of Wizards of the Coast

We were given time to complain about what we didn’t like about the Wizards Play Network to the guys at Wizards.  Most of the suggestion revolved around the software store owners use to run Wizards events.  Even if everything suggested is put into practice, it’s unlikely players will ever see any changes.  Everything focused on making it easier and faster for us to use the software.

2:15 to 4:15: Magic Event with live Wizards Even Reporter demo: Hosted by John Grant of Wizards of the Coast

During Wizards U, we had a chance to play a free, causal, sealed Theros event.  Sadly, I didn’t pull very good cards (or I don’t know how to work with what I did pull) and didn’t do very well.  But, I did have fun and met new people and that’s the whole point of playing card games.
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4:15: Closing comments and Raffle Prizes

Everyone had a lot of fun, and learn new things to take back to their stores.  What better way to end a day than with raffle prizes and gift bags!  I won a From the Vault: Realms among other things.

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If you are curious about what else I’ve learn, or you have suggestions, feel free to contact me via Facebook, our website, or stop in a talk to me.

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Tanksgiving 2013 at Anime Kat

On Sunday November 10, 2013, Anime Kat hosted our very first “Tanksgiving” event.  Tanksgiving is a Warhammer 40k event.  Each participant in the Tanksgiving event fought in a free-for-all vehicle battle against all other participants.  When a player’s vehicle was destroyed they re-spawned from any table edge on their next turn.  When the game ended prizes where awarded based on points. (1pt-immobilized enemy, 2pt-killed enemy, 3pt-killed enemy by ramming, 5pt-killed enemy Super Heavy).  Players also got 10 points for getting the Tanksgiving Cup from the center of the board and successively leaving the battlefield with it.

We had 9 players for our event with some interesting choices of vehicles and obvious winners and losers.

1. Duke – 37 points – Ork Stompa
2. Jeff – 13 points – Imperial Guard Baneblade
3. Carlton – 12 points – Reaver Titan
4. Brandon – 10 points – Chaos Space Marine Helbrute
5. Ben – 6 points – Chaos Space Marine Helbrute
6. Brian – 6 points – Tau Hammerhead Gunship
7. Kieth -5 points – Necron Triarch Stalker
8. Drew -1 points – Space Marine Land Raider Crusader
9. Marcus -0 points –  Ork Bommer

The mighty Ork Stompa took out the mightier Reaver Titan half way through the game.  The Stompa was the only model to take down the Titan.  While Marcus’s Ork Bommer didn’t score any points, it is very important to note that he had the most assists.  It was his craft exploding into flames twice that allowed Duke’s Ork Stompa to pick up the trophy twice and scoring 20 points.

Tanksgiving Winner

The combatant line up on the store's brand new Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard

The combatants line up on the store’s brand new Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard

The Stompa takes on the Titan and wins.

The Stompa takes on the Titan and wins.

An Ork Bommer lines up for a bombing run.

An Ork Bommer lines up for a bombing run.

An Ork Bommer takes on a Titan and fails.

An Ork Bommer takes on a Titan and fails.

Magic the Gathering Commander Event at Anime Kat

On Saturday, 11/9/13 Anime Kat hosted its first Commander Tournament.  According to Wizards of the Coast, Commander (sometimes called “Elder Dragon Highlander”) is a multiplayer Free-for-All game in which any number of players compete against each other as individuals.  It’s played with the Singleton format (in other words, except for basic lands, each card in your deck must have a different name), and each player starts with a life total of 40 rather than the usual 20.  Most importantly, the centerpiece of each deck is a legendary creature that serves as that deck’s commander.

To build a deck, you first choose a legendary creature, called a “commander” or “general,” then construct a Singleton deck around it containing exactly 99 other cards. Only cards of the commander’s color(s) and colorless cards may be included in the deck.

Appropriately enough for a format named after the legendary creature that’s leading your team, your commander works differently from other cards in the game.  Before the game begins, each player removes his or her commander from the game.  You may play your commander from the command zone (no matter how it got there) for its normal costs plus an additional {2} for each previous time it has been played this way.  If your commander would go to the graveyard or the exile zone from anywhere, you may put it into the command zone instead . In addition to the normal Magic loss conditions, if a player is dealt 21 points of combat damage from a single commander over the course of the game, that player loses the game!  Currently, MTG Commander hosts the complete rules for the format.

For our event, we ran 2 rounds (which turned into 3).  All players were divided up into 3 groups for the first round.  The winner of each group went on to play all other winners in a second round.  Because of a great play by Mike,  he and one other player lost simultaneously in the second round forcing a draw.  They went on to a third round were Mike was the last person standing.

Commander StandingsCommander Event

Fighting to win Round 1

Fighting to win Round 1

Fighting to win in Round 2

Fighting to win in Round 2

Breimh’s Anime Review: Angel Beats!

By Breimh

Otonashi is a boy on the verge of manhood, living in the afterlife, with no memories of his life before his death. He joins a school organization called the SSS whose mission is to fight against going into the realms that lay beyond and those who rule them.
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Released in 2010 by Aniplex, this is one I highly recommend, and give it 4 of 5 stars.

When I first began watching, the animation looked great, but I had reservations about the story and just where it was heading. (The bloodshed and violence at the start made me think it was going to be just another slasher-type anime, really.) But there were mysteries that intrigued me, and some great comedy that had me laughing out loud, so I continued.

Am I glad I did! This was a magical, tragic but wondrous ride with a cast of characters that made me both happy and sad to see where their adventures would lead them. Beautiful, melodious and filled with as many touching moments as action and comedy. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a well-rounded story with suburb animation.